In pursuance of the directions of DDA's Vice-Chairman Balvinder Kumar, the housing authority has started the process of formulating a policy for thousands of properties occupied by displaced persons and others from 1940 onwards on the basis of 'paying damages' or 'leases', in 23 Nazul Estates of Delhi.

These 23 Nazul Estates of the DDA, fall in areas like Karol Bagh, Pahar Ganj, Anand Parbat, Chuna Mandi, among others, a top DDA official said.
    
Government land falling under these Nazul Estates, after partition, was mainly occupied by refugees, who unauthorizedly settled in these open spaces. These occupants were issued slips known as 'damages slips' for using the government land.

On constitution of DDA in 1957, these lands were transferred to DDA. "The number of such properties in 1959 was approximately 18,179 only," the official said.
    
Over a period of time, these plots were either inherited, subdivided or sold and 'damages slips' became the basis of various transactions i.e., sale mutation etc and in many cases the transactions were registered also.
    
"The 'damages', as per the slips issued, were being collected through Damages Collectors. The number of these properties have now multiplied many times and there are around one lakh families i.e. about 5 lakh occupants who are staying in these properties after paying damages and many even without paying any damages," she said.
    
Some of the land in area was on leasehold basis and continues to be occupied by such occupants even though the leases have either expired or have been cancelled or determined.
    
The official said that the DDA would now try to first ascertain the original settlers on such lands through survey of the National Population Register (NPR) 2011 and the Census House Listing Schedules of 2010-2011 along with local survey, and then work out modalities for the process accordingly.
    
"Various socio-economic surveys is also being taken to get the exact details. After the survey it will be decided to give a title to these residents," she said.

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